The new mood for reclaim and upcycle was evident at The January Furniture Show 2016 (Birmingham NEC, January 24 -27) where exhibitors from across the furniture and furnishings sector gathered to showcase the latest in home fashions.

From the understated cool of ‘industrial rustic’ to contemporary materials and green technology, the show, which hosted 450 exhibitors, encompassed current and upcoming fashion trends. From super de luxe glamour to wow factor brights or funky new takes on retro styles, the full spectrum of the new design agenda was in evidence at the UKs biggest and most comprehensive interiors event.


On trend reclaimed looks were noticeable throughout the show mixing dark bold woods with metal and red brick settings and offering innovative ideas in structure and materials. From a fashionably uncompromising industrial look to a softer, more mainstream interpretation, the new appetite for reworked furniture couldn’t be ignored, with plenty of inspiration on how to play it.

Elsewhere, the move towards a more eclectic mix of furniture could be seen with leather covered trunks and drawers and an imaginative array of conversational, statement pieces.

The dusky hues and muted tones of Parisienne-style painted furniture remains popular, moved on to meet the mood of the day for a greyed out palette. Also on show was an array of glass collections, perfect for creating an opulent bedroom or making a statement in the dining room. Mirrored collections continue to thrive, adding a touch of bling and sparkle to the home.


With the ‘reclaim and upcycle’ message coming through loud and clear on the cabinet front, this eclectic look is being matched on upholstery with vintage style “pre-loved” muted leathers with a wax finish – or mixed with linens and scatter back cushions for a homespun arts and crafts feel.

It’s a more English take on the still popular Navaho-style leather sofas teamed with cushions and kilims which provide such a warm and welcoming look. Think relaxed living, feature or statement pieces and upholstered footstools as big as coffee tables providing a finishing focal point.

Away from large loungers (and there’s still corner sofas aplenty) there’s a more feminine, dainty feel to upholstery that comes in misty pastels. Mix it up with washed out vintage prints for a gentle nod to the popular retro look.

There’s room too for the bright and the loud for those brave enough to take on wow factor sofas and chairs in clashing primary bolds. It’s fun, fresh and decidedly young. Or make an unmissable statement with monochrome mixes of houndstooth, black velvets and textured fabrics which spell glamour with a capital ‘G’.

Look too, to the detail where the fashion for the ‘industrial rustic’ manifests itself in new and unusual ways to incorporate studding. See it along the top edge of sofas, down the side of arms or running along the bottom plinth, providing subtle definition of the overall shape.


Leather keeps a hold on UK tastes, much of it worked with industrial chic in mind. Away from these raw and matt shades of brown and tan, edgy new tones of grey and hickory take the story forward while classic cream and black will never go away.

But the biggest fabric story of the show came dressed in velvet. Crushed is still cool but making a flamboyant new entrance were velvet-style textiles in all kinds of guises: printed, woven or in geometric relief on a mesh background. Welcomed too were quilted velvets and a host of other textured effects. Colours are deep turquoise, greys, silver blues and other metallic effect finishes.

Against the plush was the pure. Coming through to meet a need for cleaner lines and simpler colours is a new generation of heavier fabrics which take their inspiration from, and give a modern day twist to herringbones, houndstooth, tweeds and wools. The look is natural but interesting.

The trends in fabric 2016 - Kobe's Elegance collection


‘Soft and grey’ sums up the outlook for 2016 on the flooring front. A sea of greys floored the show and will continue to set the tone in the year ahead. Every conceivable shade was on offer from cool concrete greys to soft silvers and deep dark charcoals. Taupes are still sought after along with ‘new neutrals’ such as light blues, grey based lilacs and sage greens.

Polypropylenes are still dominant when it comes to carpet type but the demand is for high quality and super soft. While naturally inclined to the safe and neutral, carpet hasn’t shied away from colour with plenty of bright options for the dare-to-be-differents. Otherwise, rugs continue to be the ‘high fashion hit’ of the home, the latest featuring bold geometric designs in on-trend colour palettes.


Lighting schemes are growing in sophistication with a move away from ceiling spotlights and an increase in wall and low-level lights. Finish-wise mixing and matching metal – gold, pewter and brass – is key for this year. The look to love is through layering, mixing and blending different materials, textures and colours for instant character and added style over a dining table or island.

Anything large scale and made from rustic materials with a raw finish is hot for 2016. Metal and glass were trending at the show with lots of urban black metalwork teamed with giant Eddison bulbs, pendant lighting and classic floral glass.

It’s all about the more the merrier with a distinct trend towards lighting with multiple shades/bulbs, often in bright contemporary colours such as reds, greens and blues.

The lighting trend for 2016


The show offered a treasure trove of home accessories, from opulent high end pieces to modern sleek designs. And while colour has made a comeback (bright yellows, pinks, greens, reds and purples really showing through) the vintage-style offer remains strong, interesting and oh-so-compelling.

Cushions came in an awesome variety of patterns and plains, drawing on a wide wheel of colour and styles, though aqua and coral along with lavender and yellow are key colours for the season ahead. Still the easy solution for adding a pop of colour or blast of interest to tired interiors, cushions are king of the finishing touch.

Walls come alive with iconic legend prints, giant fob watches, huge mirrors and subtle art while anyone with a love of champagne, cocktails and fine dining could find unique, stand out pieces of culinary artefacts and kitchen curiosities.

The reclaimed industrial trend for 2016 Trends in fabric and furniture for 2016